Are you a seafarer’s family member and wants to check where is your loved one’s ship currently at? Or a seafarer waiting to join a ship and wants to monitor your vessel’s arrival? Or even an enthusiast who wants to know the details of a ship? Whoever you are as long as your main concern is to know the information about a certain ship, all you need to do is check these top 3 free ship tracking websites on my list.
Each of them have their own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
What are my top 3 free ship tracking websites?
I’ve been using www.marinetraffic.com ever since I started my seafaring career. Its free basic version offers good enough information for a user like me. It provides great feature like live map usage, terrestrial AIS coverage, voyage history, and vessel database to mention a few. They also offer subscription upgrades for those who are in global maritime business for a price. Check here for complete subscription plan features and prices.
I also love their email alert feature where it gives you updates about your added fleet. But you are only allotted 30 alerts per month for free users.
Another missing feature for free users is the capability to provide longer period of port calls history (basic plan only stores 3 days of voyage history). That feature is very useful for joining seafarers if they want to determine the usual places their ship visited.
Next on my list is www.vesselfinder.com. The feature I love most about this site is the capability to provide the last 5 port calls detected by AIS which is free unlike with www.marinetraffic.com.
This free ship tracking website also has a very simple interface which I personally like. A minimalist design that allows details to be seen easily,
Vesselfinder is actually at par with Marinetraffic in terms of features and information given. However, its database of ship pictures are fewer than with the competition. That’s the main reason why it only ended 2nd of my list.
Last but not the least, www.shipspotting.com recently became one of my most used ship tracking website due to its capability to provide in depth details about a ship. As a seafarer, it is important to know the specifics of your assigned vessel. Ship’s information like builder name, place of build, year built, engine model, engine power, and the like.
Shipspotting.com was also able to provide owner’s name, manager’s name, and it’s class society. These features where definitely absent from free versions of the two websites above. It also provides 10 port calls history! That’s a very great feature. But picture database for this site is also low compared to my first pick and there is no live map. I believe this site will improve soon and it will definitely earn a higher spot on my list.
How to use those three websites? It’s simple. Just visit the respective sites and input the ship’s name into the search bar just like what you do with Google search.
OK, those are my top 3 ship tracking websites that you should know. Do you know any other ship tracking website worthy of sharing? You can write it below at the comment section. I’m sure it will be very useful to everybody.